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Minestrone soup

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This is the best minestrone soup! It’s an Italian classic that deserves to be added to your recipe box and meal plan rotation.

Packed with beautiful flavors and textures, it’s warm, comforting and delicious. If you love Olive Garden minestrone soup, your taste buds will enjoy this savory restaurant-inspired recipe.

PIN MINESTRONE SOUP NOW TO MAKE IT LATER!

A serving of minestrone soup in a rustic bowl with a piece of fresh artisan bread.

OLIVE GARDEN MINESTRONE SOUP

Olive Garden’s minestrone soup is a vegan classic! Made with a variety of fresh garden vegetables, it includes beans and pasta in a light tomato broth. At their restaurants nationwide, this is their most popular soup.

If you’ve been wondering what is the difference between vegetable soup and minestrone? Both soups are healthy and basically the same. But minestrone is heartier. It’s bulked up with beans and noodles.

why this is the best minestrone soup

Our homemade version is better than the Olive Garden minestrone soup recipe! Like traditional Italian chefs, we use seasonal ingredients. This is the freshest way to cook.

If you have an abundance of summer squash or green beans in your garden, feature those in this beautiful soup. No ditalini pasta in the pantry? Use any short sturdy pasta you have on hand.

Pot of Minestrone Soup on a dinner table with a bowl of soup and bread.

MINESTRONE SOUP INGREDIENTS

This rustic Italian soup is filled with rich flavors and hearty textures. It’s an unfussy meal that nourishes the body and soul. These are the basic ingredients for this fool-proof recipe.

Feel free to add or substitute ingredients, using what’s readily available. If you’d like to bulk it up with baked chicken meatballs or slices of pan-fried sausage, that would taste so delicious! Embrace what’s in the fridge. If you find leftover pesto in there, add a dollop on top!

  • Olive oil
  • Cloves of garlic
  • Shallots or large yellow onion
  • Celery
  • Baby carrots
  • Seasonal veggies of choice (zucchini, yellow squash, green beans)
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried basil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper, freshly-ground
  • Vegetable broth
  • Cento San Marzano whole tomatoes (canned)
  • Water
  • Tomato paste
  • Great Northern beans, canned
  • Kidney beans, canned
  • Uncooked Ditalini pasta
  • Fresh leafy greens (baby spinach, baby kale or collard greens)
  • Grated cheese for topping (Parmesan or Parmigiano Reggiano)
Minestrone soup ingredients laid out on a maple Boos Blocks board.

RECIPE PREP

Like Italian wedding soup, this recipe comes together quickly. Making a healthy satisfying meal has never been easier!

To make this recipe faster, prep the ingredients the day before. Store the items in separate small containers or in zip-top bags.

  • STEP 1: Dice the shallots. Press or mince the garlic.
  • STEP 2: Chop the carrots and celery.
  • STEP 3: Chop the garden veggies.
  • STEP 4: Grate the cheese.
4 Images showing the recipe prep for making Olive Garden Minestrone Soup.

MINESTRONE SOUP RECIPE

Here’s how to make the easiest and best minestrone soup recipe. It’s one of those favorite meals where everyone goes back for seconds!

  • STEP 1: In a large stock pot, warm olive oil over medium-low heat until the oil shimmers. Add garlic and sauté  briefly.
  • STEP 2: Add the shallots. Sauté until softened.
  • STEP 3: Add carrots and celery. Sauté until tender.
  • STEP 4: Sprinkle in the spices: oregano, basil and salt. Grind black pepper into the pot.

EXPERT TIP: Alway add dried herbs early in the cooking process. This gives them time to rehydrate, bloom, and unlock their goodness. Crush the herbs between your fingertips to help release their flavor.

4 images showing the steps for making Olive Garden Minestrone Soup from scratch.

EASY MINESTRONE SOUP

Making Olive Garden minestrone soup is super simple! Continue following these easy steps for this cozy homemade recipe.

  • STEP 5: Add summer veggies to the pot. Here I’m using zucchini, yellow squash, and russet potatoes. Sauté for 2 minutes.
  • STEP 6: Pour in the vegetable broth. Hand crush the Italian whole tomatoes directly over the pot. Add water to the can. Swish it around to get all the tomato pieces and juices. Add the liquid to the pot. Measure out the tomato paste. Add it in. Stir to combine. Raise heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  • STEP 7: Reduce heat to low. Add a few large handfuls of rinsed, de-stemmed leafy greens to the pot. Here I’m using baby spinach. You can use baby kale. Stir in the leaves.
  • STEP 8: Open the cans of kidney beans and Great Northern beans. Drain and rinse them. Add the beans to the pot. Stir briefly. Simmer uncovered for 35 to 45 minutes.
4 images showing step-by-step how to make Olive Garden Minestrone Soup at home.

final step: cook the pasta

While the soup is simmering on the stove, bring a small pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook pasta al dente according to package instructions. Drain well. Divide the noodles between individual serving bowls. Ladle the minestrone soup on top.

Garnish each serving with a drizzle of olive oil, more cracked pepper, and grated cheese like Parmesan or Parmigiano Reggiano. Serve minestrone soup with a loaf of rustic bread and/or a crisp garden salad.

EXPERT TIP: Cook the pasta separately. We don’t want the noodles to soak up liquid from the soup leaving an overly-thick broth. This method also prevents the noodles from getting limp before serving, when stored as leftovers in the fridge, or if frozen for later enjoyment.

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A serving of copycat Olive Garden Minestrone soup garnished with freshly-ground pepper.

EXPERT TIPS FOR SUCCESS!

  • BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR PASTA: Rice.
  • HOW TO BRIGHTEN THE FLAVOR: Add a squeeze of lemon juice!
  • PERFECT MAKE-AHEAD RECIPE: Minestrone soup tastes even better the next day! Even after cooking ceases, the rich flavors continue to develop with time. When the flavors meld together in the fridge overnight, the result is a more deliciously-balanced dish.
  • CAN MINESTRONE SOUP BE FROZEN? Yes, if it doesn’t contain potatoes (these have a strange texture when frozen) and the pasta is not mixed in, this soup freezes and defrosts very well. Cool the soup after cooking. Transfer to a zip-top freezer bag. For compact storage, lay the bag flat.
  • HOW TO MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Use short yet sturdy gluten-free noodles.
  • HOW TO MAKE IT VEGETARIAN: Skip the grated-cheese garnish. Instead, use a vegan Parmesan-style topping.
Olive Garden Minestrone Soup served in a rustic bowl with a soup spoon and artisan bread.

MORE FLAVORFUL ITALIAN RECIPES

MINESTRONE SOUP > RATE THIS RECIPE! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My family says this rustic soup tastes even better than Olive Garden minestrone soup. It has a richer, deeper flavor profile. If you agree, give this delicious recipe a 5-star rating in the comments.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
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Minestrone soup in a small rustic bowl.

Minestrone soup


  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
  • Yield: 7 Servings 1x

Description

This hearty Olive Garden minestrone soup recipe is healthy, satisfying and delicious! Perfect year-round, it’s a warm comforting meal for the fall and winter seasons. Enjoy a cup of this savory soup with rustic bread and a crisp garden salad.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil + more for drizzling
  • 5 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
  • 3 shallots or 1 large onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped baby carrots
  • 3 cups seasonal veggies of choice (examples: zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, potatoes, peas)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Black pepper (freshly-ground), to taste
  • 8 cups (2 quarts) vegetable broth
  • 1 28-ounce can Cento San Marzano whole tomatoes (with juices) or diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 15.5-ounce can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15.5-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/3 cup dry ditalini pasta (uncooked)
  • 3 1/2 cups baby spinach, baby kale, or collard greens (de-stemmed), packed
  • Optional garnish: grated Parmesan or Parmigiano Reggiano

Instructions

  1. In a large stock pot, warm olive oil over medium-low heat until the oil shimmers. Add garlic and sauté  briefly. Add the shallots (or onion). Sauté until softened. Add carrots and celery. Sauté until tender.
  2. Sprinkle in the spices: oregano, basil and salt. Grind black pepper into the pot. Add summer veggies to the pot. Saute for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour in the vegetable broth. Hand crush the Italian whole tomatoes directly over the pot. Add water to the can. Swish it around to get all the tomato pieces and juices. Add the liquid to the pot. Measure out the tomato paste. Add it in. Stir to combine. Raise heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  4. Reduce heat to low. Add leafy greens to the pot and stir. Add kidney beans and Great Northern beans. Stir briefly to combine. Simmer uncovered for 35 to 45 minutes.
  5. While the soup is simmering on the stove, bring a small pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook pasta al dente according to package instructions. Drain well.
  6. Divide the cooked noodles between individual serving bowls. Ladle the soup on top. Garnish each serving with a drizzle of olive oil, more cracked pepper, and grated cheese.

Serve minestrone soup with a loaf of rustic bread and/or a crisp garden salad.


Notes

  • BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR PASTA: Rice.
  • HOW TO BRIGHTEN THE FLAVOR: A beautiful squeeze of lemon juice.
  • PERFECT MAKE-AHEAD RECIPE: Minestrone soup tastes even better the next day! Even after cooking ceases, the rich flavors continue to develop with time. When the flavors meld together in the fridge overnight, the result is a more deliciously-balanced dish.
  • CAN MINESTRONE SOUP BE FROZEN? Yes, if it doesn’t contain potatoes (these have a strange texture when frozen), and the pasta is not mixed in, this soup freezes and defrosts very well. Cool the soup after cooking. Transfer to a zip-top freezer bag. For compact storage, lay the bag flat.
  • HOW TO MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Use short yet sturdy gluten-free noodles.
  • HOW TO MAKE IT VEGETARIAN: Skip the grated-cheese garnish. Instead, use a vegan Parmesan-style topping.
  • MORE INFO ABOUT THIS RECIPE: Further tips for making this authentic Italian Minestrone soup are included in the body of the post, along with step-by-step recipe images.
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Minestrone Soup, Olive Garden Minestrone Soup

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

OLIVE GARDEN MINESTRONE SOUP > YOUR THOUGHTS

Have you been craving hearty, Italian minestrone soup? What are your favorite garnishes or toppings? Share your thoughts about this Olive Garden recipe in the comments below!

12 thoughts on “Minestrone soup”

  1. My kiddos and I made this together! We have been spending a lot more time in the kitchen lately and its so fun. They really enjoyed making this recipe but they enjoyed eating it even more! Thanks for this delish creation, we are adding it to our “make again” list!!

    Reply
  2. This was so delicious. I made it today! It was approved by my entire family! I am adding it to the rotation! YUMMMM

    Reply

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